September 9th, 2008
04:41 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp launches ‘Palin Truth Squad’

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign defended Sarah Palin Tuesday over a report that highlighted some of her travel expense claims as governor, and announced the launch of the “Palin Truth Squad” to fight future attacks on the VP nominee.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Alaska governor had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home, and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children, including a $707 room when her daughter accompanied her on a trip to New York to attend a Newsweek forum.

The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations.

The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by predecessor Frank Murkowski, in part by selling the governor’s private jet. Roughly half the $93,000 spent went to cover expenses incurred by her family. In a post on the campaign’s Web site, adviser Michael Goldfarb told supporters that Alaskans were paying “pennies on the dollar,” and accused the Washington Post of “hunting for ‘scandal.’”

“As governor of the state, Palin is expected to travel across Alaska to meet her constituents and attend community events. As a mother of five, she occasionally brought her children with her,” wrote Goldfarb. “Her travel-related activities have been appropriately documented, are completely transparent, and entirely legal. She also saved Alaskan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the budgeting process and hundreds of thousands in cutting waste from her own office. It is an impressive record of reform by any measure.”

The McCain-Palin team has made her record on cost-cutting a central element of her vice presidential bid.

The campaign — which has been sending “fight the smears” e-mails whose tone echoes similar messages from Barack Obama’s campaign — also said staffers and major campaign surrogates at the state and national level were forming an official rapid response team that will respond to rumors about the Republican vice presidential nominee, sending alerts and campaign statements to voters and reporters.

“We will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman who has always served her constituents with honor,” the campaign said in a statement. “We know the truth and are committed to ensuring it as well."

The McCain-Palin team has campaigned on media coverage that they describe as excessive or unfair.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Obama/Biden 08

    OH MY WORD... I Almost fell out of my Chair on that one!!! LOL

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Reagan

    Why is the media trying so hard to smear this woman?

    I have always respected and tried to make time to watch Anderson Coopers 360 show, but I had to laugh last night when they dedicated a segment to her Christian faith.
    It was almost as bizarre and funny as the EBay Plane scandal segment Wolf Blitzer did.

    Why not just accept that there is nothing there to dig up on her instead of waste time with this stupid stories. I would rather hear about the news going on in other parts of the world than this Jerry Springer type of reporting.

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Diego

    maybe the STATE can pay for her LASIK

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Diane

    why is palen gettig so much media attention? it looks as if she is running for president. if the voters think another 4 years of republicans in the white house, God forgive you.

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  5. Kimberly

    Sandy in PA – Thank you thank you thank you! I was just typing the same thing, but you said it better!!

    "I thought we were fighting the religious extremists, not trying to elect them to run our own government!!! "

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  6. Joe, Georgia

    Let's ask John McCain why it's OK to travel on the "Straight Talk Express," but lie at each and every stop. Let John also explain why it's OK to be paid by the taxpayers to sleep in your own house.

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  7. absoltey no palin, georgia

    i wonder how much she filed for personal mileage?

    maybe i can be the governor of alaska.

    sounds lucrative!

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  8. Chris

    So she basically she was spending less money on corrupt/wasteful practices than her predecessor, but she was still spending money on corrupt/wasteful practices....

    September 9, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Kelly

    The lies are catching up to this pathological liar!

    McCain/Palin are "Mavericks to Nowhere"!

    *No exit strategy from Iraq
    *No plan for health care
    *No idea how to fix the economy

    September 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. kayla

    mcsame is so elated with pittbull, little does he know the light will go off and the american peolpe will realize to have the worst president in history and you are still giving pappa smurf and smurfet another 4 yrs of bush behoves me. wake up america. you are smarter than this

    September 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. Deb, Allentown, PA

    The Palin Truth Squad?

    Does that mean that they'll actually seek the truth from her, instead of her continuous lies and fabrications?

    September 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Greg in Colorado

    The fact that they have to put out a truth squad is evidence enough that one, he didn't vet her enough and two, she obviously has done some lying, therefore needs to have a truth squad. Perhaps they should just wiretap her phone since they've done it in the past? Once again a failed republican. Can't you just see them cutting their loses by choosing a nobody?

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 9, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  13. McCaint

    She sold the plane on eBay – for a profit!

    oh, wait....

    So when is Ms Bridge to Nowhere going to start answering questions
    from the press?

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  14. FactCheck

    > Hmmm… democrats twisting "facts" to their benefit?

    Yeah, that Washington Post is a real bastion of the liberal media... NOT!

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    McCain will serve the few, the proud, the Lobbyists.

    There will be only one change: name tag replacement in the White House.

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  16. Ducey

    Not even American I meant ... I am Canadian lol

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Shan

    Of course the Post was looking for a scandal. It's what everyone wants to read. Anything else is called 'not news'.

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Diego

    Senator McSAME's Official position on this is as follows:


    hey former hillary supporter voting 4 McSAME, how witty. how about a little substance inyour argument?

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. Tammy

    How come the press is not all over Jews for Jesus comment by Sarah Palin pastor? Saying "What we see in Israel, the conflict that is spilled out throughout the Middle East, really which is all about Jerusalem, is an ongoing reflection of the fact that there is judgment. There is judgment that is going on in the land, and that's the other part of this Jerusalem Dilemma. When Jesus was standing in that temple, He spoke that that judgment was coming, that there's a reality to the judgment of unbelief. He said "I long to gather you, but..." what? "You were unwilling." God never forces His way on human beings. And so because Jerusalem was unwilling to receive His grace, judgment was coming. He says, "Look, your house has left you desolate!"... Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real." This is scary!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. Observer

    This is what happens with a surprise candidate. We know so little about Mrs. Palin, it will take us until election day to get all these stories out. Here's one major problem: if Mrs. Palin had been fully vetted by the McCain campaign, they could be on a proactive path to blunt the rumors and accusations before they are widespread in the media, rather than playing catch-up on all this stuff afterwards.
    John McCain, this is your mess, and you can't blame anyone else for it, especially the media.

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. MikeH

    So Sarah Palin is a welfare cheat also.

    What truth are you interested in John?

    That Sarah tried to have books banned from the Wasilla Library?

    That Sara Palin supported the 'Road to Nowhere' and the 'Bridge to Nowhere'?

    That Sara Palin abused her power when she fired a state official who refused to do her dirty work for her and fire her ex-brother-in-law?

    That Sara Palin left Wasilla, Alaska 22 Million dollars in debt after spending city money on projects that benefitted her developer friends?

    Everyone should read Kilkenny's letter.

    I agree with the above post, ZEIG McCain!!!, ZEIG Palin!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Lisa

    Wat is this a squad to cover up more lies, where does it end? Two mavericks and all they can do is tell Tall Tales, Liars!!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. TheTruthHurts

    Launch away Johnny Boy! We don't even have 527s after you. We've had to have a truth squad for months.

    Biden's comments about stem cell research were accurate, but he will offend many Christian families that struggle with the tradeoff between their beliefs and the hope provided by research. For non-religious folk this will play well, but it isn't just the far right wing conservative evangelicals that struggle with this.

    September 9, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. Hillary Supporter for Obama

    "Truth Squad" is a laugh considering that she's still beating the "Bridge To Nowhere" drum long after it's already been TRUTHfully established that she was FOR the bridge.

    September 9, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Yngvai

    "Palin Truth Squad"....sounds like an oxymoron

    Oh, and "Former Hillary Supporter".....everything the Post printed are verifiable facts...they aren't lies just because you don't believe them

    McCain/Palin supporters must suffer frome extreme cognitive dissonance

    September 9, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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